November 11, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke

Bringing the best of British bioscience to the public

Researchers from The University of Nottingham will be helping to bring the best of British bioscience to the public this weekend.

Professor Malcolm Bennett from the School of Biosciences and his team from the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology will be showcasing their exhibit ‘Rooting in the Underworld’ at The Great British Bioscience Festival between the 14 and 16 November in Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London.

The festival, staged by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will be helping people to explore the fascinating world of biology through inter using interactive science exhibits from real scientists.

Malcolm Bennett, Professor of Plant Sciences, said: “As we try to find ways to grow more food on limited land, with limited resources, and in the face of climate change, understanding how plant roots grow in soil is important. In the past, we had to wash the soil from root systems to study them, or grow plants using alternatives to soil. We are now using X-ray Computed Tomography to visualise root systems growing in soil in 3D. This enables us to scan the same plant many times without disturbing the roots as they grow. Combined with innovative software, this is revolutionising our understanding of root growth in soil.

Demonstrating X-ray and 3D vision

Back home in Nottingham this research is taking place at the new Hounsfield Facility, a research centre for X-ray micro Computed Tomography based at the Sutton Bonington Campus of The University of Nottingham.

Professor Bennett said: “We are very excited about showing visitors how to build their own efficient root system, explore 3D visualisations of roots growing in soil, and to give them a tour of the Lego replica of our Hounsfield Facility.”

hounsfield lego

This free festival is suitable for all the family, with over 20 exciting and interactive displays on offer.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive: “The Great British Bioscience Festival will be a unique chance for BBSRC and our scientists to bring awe-inspiring bioscience research to east London. A variety of entertaining and engaging exhibitions will be on offer, highlighting the best of BBSRC-sponsored world-leading bioscience. “

For more information on all the exhibits heading to the Great British Bioscience Festival visit:

The Great British Bioscience festival is brought to you by BBSRC in partnership with LND Science Festival.

Keep up to date with the latest festival news on Twitter using the hashtags #GBbioscifest and #LSF14.

More information is available from Susannah Lydon on +44 (0) 115 9516289,; or BBSRC Media Office, Email:, Tel: +44 (0)1793 414694 or Lindsay Brooke, Media Relations Manager at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 9515751.

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